Two years after he was promoted from Tight Ends Coach to Offensive Coordinator with the Titans, the Falcons have hired Arthur Smith to be their next Head Coach.
After the Titans produced a top 3 rushing offense and top 10 scoring offense for two season in a row under Smith, teams around the league took notice. Each of the 6 teams who had head coaching vacancies interviewed Smith this offseason, resulting in many Head Coaching offers.
Arthur Smith was hired by the Titans all the way back in 2011. He was hired as the Defensive Quality Control Coach under then Head Coach Mike Munchak. After being promoted multiple times and making his way all the way to Offensive Coordinator, he is now a Head Coach in the NFL.
As Tennessee's Offensive Coordinator, Smith has helped the team greatly. He is extremely humble, and a favorite among the players. After the hiring, Titans WR, A.J. Brown commented that Smith always held him accountable and was a great Coach. Under Smith, Brown emerged as a WR1 and had over one thousand yards in each of his first two seasons. Also, Smith was crucial in Derrick Henry's growth and back to back rushing titles. After former Coordinator, Matt LaFleur, did not give the ball to Henry has much as he should have, Smith emphasized the importance of Henry and based the offense around him.
The Titans have now lost 3 coordinators with Mike Vrabel as Head Coach. LaFleur left 2 seasons ago, Dean Pees after last season, and now Arthur Smith. After Coach Vrabel opted not to hire a defensive coordinator last offseason, the Titans defense struggled greatly. Now, the Titans must fill two vacancies, and this time, hopefully they will hire a defensive coordinator.
The Titans have reportedly reached out to a few coaches such as but no hiring seems imminent as of now. It seems likely that Tennessee will opt to hire someone and not promote someone within the organization.
While Smith was not perfect, and certainly had questionable playcalls, he was great for being a playcaller for just 2 seasons. He did not call a great game against the Ravens in the playoffs but had other great games during the regular season and often outsmarted the opponent.
In Atlanta, Arthur Smith can definitely be successful. He may hire former Titans Defensive Coordinator, Dean Pees, which would be an amazing hire and could greatly elevate their defense. Smith is obviously more offensive minded and the Falcons have no shortage of weapons. Atlanta has arguably the best Receiver in the NFL in Julio Jones as well as receiver Calvin Ridley and running back Todd Gurley. If QB Matt Ryan can revert to his 2017 form, the Falcons can compete for the division in 2021 under Smith.
Overall, the loss of Arthur Smith is significant but he deserves it and can certainly succeed in Atlanta.